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FILM-SCREENING:
Jeremy Deller: The Battle of Orgreave (2001, running time: 62min)

Tuesday  29th May at 8.30pm
(please arrive at 8.15pm for 8.30pm start)

Kenworthy Hall – St Mary’s College

Photograph by Martin Jenkinson

 

In 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers went on strike. The dispute lasted for over a year and was the most bitterly fought since the general strike of 1926, marking a turning point in the struggle between the government and the trade union movement. On 18 June of that year, the Orgreave coking plant was the site of one of the strike’s most violent confrontations. It began in a field near the plant and culminated in a cavalry charge through the village of Orgreave.

Jeremy Deller’s The Battle of Orgreave, staged seventeen years later, in 2001, was a spectacular re-enactment of what happened on that day. It was orchestrated by Howard Giles, a historical re-enactment expert and the former director of English Heritage’s event programme. More than 800 people participated in the re-enactment, many of them former miners, and a few former policemen, reliving the events from 1984 that they themselves took part in. Other participants were drawn from battle re-enactment societies across England.

The Battle of Orgreave was filmed by Mike Figgis for Artangel Media and Channel 4, and aired on Sunday, 20 October 2002. The film intercuts dramatic photographic stills from the clashes in 1984 with footage of the clashes re-enacted in 2001, together with moving and powerful testimonies, to tease out the complexities of this bitter struggle.

The Battle of Orgreave was shown most recently as part of Joy in People, a major survey of Jeremy Deller’s work at the Hayward Gallery, London, in May 2012. For more info about the artist and the project please click HERE.

Organised by Margareta Kern, artist-in-residence.

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